Who to call if you are a victim of a scam?
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is available to help with consumer questions and complaints. The Division works to protect consumers and the legitimate business community by investigating, mediating and litigating cases of consumer fraud. The Division also enforces consumer laws designed to protect the public, including the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act and statutes relating to buying clubs, telephone solicitation, telemarketing, and sweepstakes.
The Division handles complaints such as door-to-door sales, advertising, paid solicitors, new and used vehicle purchases, car repairs, charitable solicitations, home repair and construction, employment scams and more. The Division can also assist with questions regarding landlord/tenant relations, federal credit laws and mail order rules. The Consumer Protection Division also has a long list of referral phone numbers to other state and federal agencies that can provide additional assistance.
As a consumer you have basic rights relating to consumer laws and the Consumer Protection Division can help you better understand those rights. If you feel you have been a victim of a scam or just trying to find out the legitimacy of a company don’t be afraid to call the Consumer Protection Division.
Attorney General Jackley Warns of Transient Paving and Roofing Scams Targeting the State
PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota consumers about transient paving and roofing scams that have recently surfaced in the state. The Consumer Protection Division has received numerous complaints about out-of-state transient crews wandering door-to-door promising low prices for roofing and paving jobs. Representatives of the crews typically approach home and business owners promising low estimates because of leftover materials from a completed project down the road or needing to keep the crews busy between jobs. Consumers and business owners are reporting poor quality jobs that will not last and outrageous charges upon completion of the job, often double or triple what was initially quoted.
Jackley’s office suggests taking the following precautions when dealing with door-to-door roofers and pavers:
Do not be pressured into a quick agreement.
Request a written contract specifying in detail the work to be done and the agreed upon price.
Be cautious if cash-only terms are required.
Do not make full payment before the job is satisfactorily completed.
Ask for local references and call these references to make sure they were satisfied.
Get bids from local companies to compare prices. If you buy locally, you will know where you can find the seller.
Consumers have a three day right to cancel on door-to-door sales contracts.
Sellers must provide the consumer with a copy of the contract or receipt at the time of the sale. This receipt must show the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement to the buyer of his or her right to cancel the contact within three days. After proper cancellation, the seller has 10 days to refund your money.
Remember that a legitimate offer does not require you to have the work done immediately. Do not get pressured into a sale.
Ask to see their current South Dakota tax license. State law requires all persons selling products or services to have a current South Dakota sales or contractors’ excise tax license. But remember that even though they may have this license it does not mean that you will be able to locate them once the work is done.
Contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns about transient contractors.